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DeWine Announces Incentives, Lotteries, Lifted Health Orders to Get Ohioans Vaccinated

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman DeWine Announces Incentives, Lotteries, Lifted Health Orders to Get Ohioans VaccinatedPhoto by Jernej Furman.
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Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.

On Wednesday, May 12, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced an end date for pandemic health orders, as well as incentives and lottery drawings in an afternoon statewide address, in order to get more Ohioans vaccinated.

Among the incentives, a weekly scholarship drawing for vaccinated Ohioans 17 and under and a weekly, $1,000,000 lottery drawing for Ohioans 18 and over.

Starting Wednesday, May 26, vaccinated Ohioans 17 and younger will be entered into drawings for a full, four-year scholarship to any state university. Drawings will take place every week for five weeks, with a winner each week.

An electronic portal will be opened Tuesday, May 18 for registration.

Also starting May 26, adult Ohioans who have received at least one dose will be entered into a drawing for $1,000,000 each week for five weeks.

Names will come from the Ohio voter registration database and drawings will be conducted by the Ohio Lottery, funded by existing coronavirus relief funds. A webpage to sign up for drawings will also be made available.

Eligible Ohioans must be 18 or older on the day of drawing and vaccinated before drawing. More details are expected in the coming days.

Finally, the governor announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud will remove all public health orders, with exception of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, on June 2.

Gov. DeWine said businesses and schools would make their own decisions on how to keep their customers, employees, and students safe, and he expected many businesses to continue to require social distancing and masks, as evident in other states.

He also encourages businesses to offer incentives for people to get vaccinated as well.

The news comes as the state’s vaccine pace slows, and as the Food and Drug Administration authorizes emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15.

“It is time to end the health orders. It’s been a year. You’ve followed the protocols. You’ve done what we’ve asked. You’ve bravely fought this virus,” said Gov. DeWine. “And now, our cases are down, and we have a tested and proven weapon with the vaccine that all Ohioans 12 and over can utilize…to put an invisible shield of protection around themselves.  Everyone can now control their own health—their own destiny.”

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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